Longtime Alaskan and Soldotna resident Billy E. Thompson died peacefully with his family by his side Saturday, May 16, 2009 at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna. He was 80.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Soldotna. Harold Jackson will officiate.
Mr. Thompson was born Jan. 24, 1929 in Oklahoma. He moved to Alaska in 1956 and worked for B&C Auto. In 1962, he was transferred to Soldotna, where he was the general manager and district salesman. During this time, he served on the Soldotna City Council and was president of the Volunteer Fire Department. He also helped start the first ambulance service and became a driver.
Mr. Thompson was president of the Soldotna General Hospital Operating Corp. and named in the Outstanding American Awards. He was very civic minded and helped start the first tourist center in Soldotna. From 1963-71, he ran the local teen club and helped with weekend dances there. He also built the log building which is now J&H Sewing.
In 1970, he opened Log Gift & Jewelry and the Union 76 station in Soldotna. In 1984, he built The Fishing Village in Homer and ran Thompson's Halibut Charter, which included three vessels. He was also a member of the Homer Coast Guard Auxiliary for more than 25 years, helping with many searches and rescues.
Mr. Thompson was also a 32 degree Mason. Later in life, he collected rocks off the beach and enjoyed trips to Las Vegas.
Mr. Thompson was preceded in death by his parents, Wes and Daisy Thompson; his biological mother, Lillie; sister, Doris Reich; a son, Jimmy Thompson, and great-grandson Gage Hunter Jackson
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Billy Jo Thompson; daughter and son-in-law, Debra and William Jackson; brothers, Roy and Harold Thompson; grandchildren and their spouses, William and Camberly Jackson, Joesph and Lena Jackson and Wes and Sherise Jackson, Jimmy Thompson and Jocelyn Thompson; great-grandchildren, Jenni, Brooke, Danielle, Shelby, Rhett, Rae, Rylie, Wesley and Jazmine Jackson; and daughter-in-law, Connie Thompson.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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